The Philippine Navy will build a detachment on Fuga Island in northern Luzon, which a Chinese developer wants to turn into a “smart city”.The Navy and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) inked on Wednesday a memorandum of agreement which will see the Navy build a detachment in a CEZA-managed zone composed of Fuga, Barit and Mabbag islands, and the entire town of Santa Ana in Cagayan.The zone has access to both the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea.Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said this would open possibilities for the Navy to enhance its defense capabilities in the northernmost part of the country.“The geographical configuration of our country requires an active Philippine Navy,” Cagayan Economic Zone Authority administrator Raul Lambino said. “We are going to make northern Luzon an area where the Philippine Navy can be most effective in protecting our country and our people.”
The CEZA signed in April a memorandum of understanding with Xiamen-based Fong Zhi Enterprise Corp. for the construction of a $2-billion Smart City in Fuga Island, considered by the military to be of strategic importance for the country’s security.
The government also entered into a framework agreement worth around $298 million with GFTG Property Holdings and Sanya CEDF Sino-Philippine Investment Corporation to develop Grande and Chiquita Islands under the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines had said that it is “inclined” to recommend that the government reconsiders the development of the three strategic islands in Luzon by Chinese investors.
Malacañang said the government can still back out of these deals as they are not yet final.